Oh the things people do in the name of beauty! After several decades of repeated attempts (and failures) to find Fountains of Youth and Elixirs of life, the human race has finally settled for some less ridiculous solutions to their beauty problems… or have they? Well that depends on how you feel about bull-sperm hair conditioners and bird-poop facials. Here’s a list of 10 bizarre beauty treatments that are all the rage these days in various locations around the world. Anything for eternal beauty and youthfulness my friend.
1. Bird poop Facials - Japan
How does the idea of having a facial session dedicated to having bird excrement smeared all over your face for the next 50 minutes or so sound to you? Not good? Well too bad. Because this little beauty regimen is extremely popular in Japan and is believed to bring a beautiful glow to your face. The fittingly named ‘uguisu no fun’ (NO FUN indeed), a Japanese powder made from nightingale faeces, was used by 18th century geishas and kabuki actors to wipe the heavy white makeup off their faces. Rich in the amino acids, the exclusive droppings are said to give a soft, porcelain-white shine to your visage. But just because its mere ‘bird poop’ does not mean it will not be heavy on your pockets. Usually a 50-minute facial will cost you at least $180. Oh and before running off to trying this at home, remember, the droppings have to be sterilized to remove toxins and then ground into a fine powder. So put that bowl away and get down from the tree now, you can shop online instead.
2. Snake Massages
These days snakes are giving humans more than just the creeps… they are giving soothing, deep-tissue massages for just $80. In Israel, Spa mistress Ada Barak came up with the idea after visitors who came to scoop out her carnivorous plants enjoyed the sensation of holding the garden snakes. That’s where the idea of snake massages was born. A visit to the Spa for this unusual massage would result in having six non-venomous creepy crawlies placed on your back and have them slither away all the tension from your muscles. For best results, a combination of big and small snakes is used, with the big ones producing a kneading sensation and the small ones giving a trembling flutter. This is supposed to have a ‘calming and curative effect’ as the owner claims.
3. Bull semen conditioner
How badly do you want shiny, luscious, full-bodied locks that every other person envies from afar? Badly enough to go for a conditioning treatment made out of bovine semen? Offered by Hari's, an upscale salon in London and heralded by its devotees as ‘Viagra for hair’, the Aberdeen Organic Bull Semen Treatment combines the semen of Aberdeen Angus bulls with Katera root to create a protein-rich hair mask. When Cameron Diaz’s character accidentally used semen to style her hair in the popular comedy there’s something about Mary, we all laughed. But the same concept used in real-life leans more towards absurdity than funny. Before you go ‘ewww’, try and understand the reasoning behind this regimen. As well all know, hair is made up of protein and although it is dead, some proteins can help form a protective layer around the hair or at least that’s what some marketers want us to believe. Which is why the new rage in the U.K is to have your follicles drenched in gobs of thick, moisturizing, protein-rich conditioner made of something that should otherwise naturally only be used for making babies? So what better source of concentrated protein than dropping by the local farm to meet our vicious little bovine friends and knocking on their doors to ask ‘May I borrow a cup of semen please?’
4. Butter V-Jays
If you ever get the opportunity to visit any beauty salon in Ethiopia, make sure you don’t miss the exclusive 45 minute butter massage. Well THAT doesn’t sound too bizarre does it? Here’s the catch. Those women who choose to go through this beauty regimen are massaged in butter from toe to scalp. Butter is applied everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE. Plastic bags are put over the hands and feet, and the client is given a large chunk of butter to spread over her private parts. Then she is led to a room with a long row of toilets and smoke holes. The woman sits on the toilet with her legs as far apart as possible, with their lady part positioned over the smoke hole. Covered in three heavy blankets so that no smoke escapes, she is made to sit made to sit in that gymnastics like pose until all of the butter is melted. Why oh Why go through this insanity you ask? Well, the Ethiopians claim that the main idea behind this is to tighten up the vaginal muscles post-pregnancy.
5. Portuguese Urine
For all those who thought Listerine and Scope taste like shit, here’s an alternative that you MIGHT want to consider.
It may sound absolutely insane, but ancient Romans found a very unusual solution for their daily tooth-care. Wealthy Romans, especially women, were ready to pay a lot of money for the special mouthwash in which human urine was the main ingredient. And not just any human urine, it was PORTUGUESE urine. Apparently, the Portuguese pH was much more divine and manly than mellow Roman yellow. To whiten their teeth and freshen their breath, Romans imported and swilled Portuguese urine. The theory behind this was that urine contains several compounds like ammonia and urea that actually kill germs and help fight gingivitis. So using this natural concoction would provide the perfect care for their little pearls. Talk about oral ‘hygiene’.
6. Snail Slime Cream
As the old saying goes: ‘If it works for the snail, why not put it on your face?’ Ok fine, I lied, there is no such old saying but if there was, the originator of it would have been a pretty wealthy person by now because these days snail mucus is being used in a variety of beauty products for a variety of different purposes. The mucus secreted by land snails has a powerful antioxidant that protects them from an atmosphere full of oxygen radicals and has been clinically proven to help maintain the skin, as well as improve cell function. Additionally, it helps avoid excess or abnormal scars, including acne scarring. It also counteracts sun damage, prevents premature skin aging and wrinkles and accelerates the renewal of damaged tissues. And these are not special, imported, out-of-the-world, divine snails. I’m talking about your common garden snails that you so often mercilessly crush under your feet. So hurry, go outside, grab a few of these babies and smear them all over your face like there is no tomorrow!
7. Pig foot diet
This little piggy went to the market. This little piggy went to town. And THIS little piggy’s feet were used as a beauty treatment for preventing wrinkles and sagging skin. Yes folks, Pig’s feet are being marketed as an edible way to combat wrinkles by New York restaurant Hakata Tonton’s owner. He figures that since the feet of the pig contain a high amount of collagen (which is used in anti-wrinkle creams and lip injections) a person might as well eat them to gain similar benefits. I mean, why smear something on your face or comb it through your hair when you can simply gulp it down yeah? And who needs a healthy diet, regular exercise and staying out of the sun when you can consume a meal of pig trotters rich in collagen to maintain skin and muscle tone yeah?
8. Snake Venom Cream
The neurotoxins produced by members of the cobra family of snakes (and some vipers and rattlesnakes) act on prey by blocking the nerve impulses to the muscles and inducing paralysis. Realizing that snake venom could produce a similar effect to that of Botox, the beauty industry has come up with a synthetic form of snake venom that is applied to the face as a cream rather than injected. It is meant to be safer and less invasive. The venom that was used to create the synthetic version comes from ‘snake farms’ in Brazil where thousands of snakes are ‘milked’ for their venom. The idea is to block the neuromuscular contractions which cause facial tension, and ultimately wrinkles and snake venom is known to do that effectively.
According to manufacturers of the product, placenta wrinkle cream derived from bovine placentas can slow down the appearance of visible signs of aging by moisturizing skin and combating wrinkles. For those of you who slept through most of Sex Ed 101, the placenta is a tissue that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange through the mother's blood supply. It’s slimy, slippery, bloody and full of fluids. As if the thought of having afterbirth smeared all over your face isn’t sickening enough, our Japanese brethren go a step further as they drink ground up pig placenta as it is without waiting for it to be processed into a cream that can be applied externally. The idea behind using placenta in beauty products is that the nutrient-rich tissue gives off the benefits of hormones and stimulated cell growth and also moisturizes one’s skin and hair. It can slow down the appearance of visible signs of aging by nourishing the skin and combating wrinkles. So throw away all your Loreals and Olays and Garniers and go grab yourself a jar of creamy placental treatment today!
10. Fish pedicure
If someone were to say to you, "Hey, come over here and stick your feet in this tub of fish so they can eat your dead skin!" what would you do? Well unless you are running for the Grand Prize in Fear Factor and have no choice, your instinctive reaction would be to run in the opposite direction as fast as possible from the lunatic who made the suggestion, because let’s face it, the idea of having fish eat your skin, is just kind of disquieting to say the least. But, in a number of Asian countries, Turkey and now in the U.S., fish pedicures are creating something of a splash. The fish used for this beauty treatment are known as Doctor Fish, or Garra Rufa belonging to the Carp family. But don’t worry, they don't have teeth and they are not interested in live, fresh skin- the old, hard, flaking variety is their only obsession. They are capable of chewing off calluses and other types of tough skin giving you soft, smooth, beautiful feet as a result. While the state of Virginia has enthusiastically adopted this new trend, fourteen other states are unconvinced that having the dead skin of one's feet pecked off by tiny, hungry fish is a sanitary procedure and have placed bans on it. Well… why use an old, boring, safe pumice stone when you can have hundreds of tiny flesh-eating carps nibbling away at your little piggies happily.